Bluetooth GATT SDK for Python
The Bluetooth GATT SDK for Python helps you implementing and communicating with any Bluetooth Low Energy device that has a GATT profile. As of now it supports:
- Discovering nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices
- Connecting and disconnecting devices
- Implementing your custom GATT profile
- Accessing all GATT services
- Accessing all GATT characteristics
- Reading characteristic values
- Writing characteristic values
- Subscribing for characteristic value change notifications
Currently Linux is the only platform supported by this library. Unlike other libraries this GATT SDK is based directly on the mature and stable D-Bus API of BlueZ to interact with Bluetooth devices. In the future we would like to make this library platform-independent by integrating with more Bluetooth APIs of other operating systems such as MacOS and Windows.
The GATT SDK requires Python 3.4+. Currently Linux is the only supported operating system and therefor it needs a recent installation of BlueZ. It is tested to work fine with BlueZ 5.44, any release >= 5.38 should however work, too.
These instructions assume a Debian-based Linux.
On Linux the BlueZ library is necessary to access your built-in Bluetooth controller or Bluetooth USB dongle. Some Linux distributions provide a more up-to-date BlueZ package, some other distributions only install older versions that don't implement all Bluetooth features needed for this SDK. In those cases you want to either update BlueZ or build it from sources.
Updating/installing BlueZ via apt-get
bluetoothd --versionObtains the version of the pre-installed BlueZ.
bluetoothddaemon must run at startup to expose the Bluetooth API via D-Bus.
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends bluetoothInstalls BlueZ
- If the installed version is too old, proceed with next step: Installing BlueZ from sources
Installing BlueZ from sources
bluetoothd daemon provides BlueZ's D-Bus interfaces that is accessed by the GATT SDK to communicate with Bluetooth devices. The following commands download BlueZ 5.44 sources, built them and replace any pre-installed
bluetoothd daemon. It's not suggested to remove any pre-installed BlueZ package as its deinstallation might remove necessary Bluetooth drivers as well.
sudo systemctl stop bluetooth
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libusb-dev libdbus-1-dev libglib2.0-dev libudev-dev libical-dev libreadline-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev unzip
tar xf bluez-5.44.tar.xz
./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --enable-library
sudo make install
sudo ln -svf /usr/libexec/bluetooth/bluetoothd /usr/sbin/
sudo install -v -dm755 /etc/bluetooth
sudo install -v -m644 src/main.conf /etc/bluetooth/main.conf
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl start bluetooth
bluetoothd --version# should now print 5.44
Please note that some distributions might use a different directory for system deamons, apply step 13 only as needed.
Enabling your Bluetooth adapter
echo "power on" | sudo bluetoothctlEnables your built-in Bluetooth adapter or external Bluetooth USB dongle
Using BlueZ commandline tools
BlueZ also provides an interactive commandline tool to interact with Bluetooth devices. You know that your BlueZ installation is working fine if it discovers any Bluetooth devices nearby.
sudo bluetoothctl Starts an interactive mode to talk to BlueZ
power onEnables the Bluetooth adapter
scan onStart Bluetooth device scanning and lists all found devices with MAC addresses
connect AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FFConnects to a Bluetooth device with specified MAC address
exitQuits the interactive mode
Installing GATT SDK for Python
To install this GATT module and the Python3 D-Bus dependency globally, run:
sudo pip3 install gatt sudo apt-get install python3-dbus
Running the GATT control script
To test if your setup is working, run the
gattctl tool that is part of this SDK. Note that it must be run as root because on Linux, Bluetooth discovery by default is a restricted operation.
sudo gattctl --discover sudo gattctl --connect AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF # Replace the MAC address with your Bluetooth device's MAC address sudo gattctl --help # To list all available commands
This SDK requires you to create subclasses of
gatt.Device. The other two classes
gatt.Characteristic are not supposed to be subclassed.
gatt.DeviceManager manages all known Bluetooth devices and provides a device discovery to discover nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices. You want to subclass this manager to access Bluetooth devices as they are discovered as well as to restrict the set of devices to those that you actually want to support by your manager implementation. By default
gatt.DeviceManager discovers and returns all Bluetooth devices but you can restrict that by overriding
gatt.Device is the base class for your Bluetooth device. You will need to subclass it to implement the Bluetooth GATT profile of your choice. Override
gatt.Device.services_resolved() to interact with the GATT profile, i.e. start reading from and writing to characteristics or subscribe to characteristic value change notifications.
Discovering nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices
The SDK entry point is the
DeviceManager class. Check the following example to dicover any Bluetooth Low Energy device nearby.
import gatt class AnyDeviceManager(gatt.DeviceManager): def device_discovered(self, device): print("Discovered [%s] %s" % (device.mac_address, device.alias())) manager = AnyDeviceManager(adapter_name='hci0') manager.start_discovery() manager.run()
Please note that communication with your Bluetooth adapter happens over BlueZ's D-Bus API, hence an event loop needs to be run in order to receive all Bluetooth related events. You can start and stop the event loop via
stop() calls to your
Connecting to a Bluetooth Low Energy device and printing all its information
gatt.DeviceManager has discovered a Bluetooth device you can use the
gatt.Device instance that you retrieved from
gatt.DeviceManager.device_discovered() to connect to it. Alternatively you can create a new instance of
gatt.Device using the name of your Bluetooth adapter (typically
hci0) and the device's MAC address.
The following implementation of
gatt.Device connects to any Bluetooth device and prints all relevant events:
import gatt manager = gatt.DeviceManager(adapter_name='hci0') class AnyDevice(gatt.Device): def connect_succeeded(self): super().connect_succeeded() print("[%s] Connected" % (self.mac_address)) def connect_failed(self, error): super().connect_failed(error) print("[%s] Connection failed: %s" % (self.mac_address, str(error))) def disconnect_succeeded(self): super().disconnect_succeeded() print("[%s] Disconnected" % (self.mac_address)) def services_resolved(self): super().services_resolved() print("[%s] Resolved services" % (self.mac_address)) for service in self.services: print("[%s] Service [%s]" % (self.mac_address, service.uuid)) for characteristic in service.characteristics: print("[%s] Characteristic [%s]" % (self.mac_address, characteristic.uuid)) device = AnyDevice(mac_address='AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF', manager=manager) device.connect() manager.run()
As with device discovery, remember to start the Bluetooth event loop with
Reading and writing characteristic values
As soon as
gatt.Device.services_resolved() has been called by the SDK, you can access all GATT services and characteristics. Services are stored in the
services attribute of
gatt.Device and each
gatt.Service instance has a
To read a characteristic value first get the characteristic and then call
gatt.Device.characteristic_value_updated() will be called when the value has been retrieved.
The following example reads the device's firmware version after all services and characteristics have been resolved:
import gatt manager = gatt.DeviceManager(adapter_name='hci0') class AnyDevice(gatt.Device): def services_resolved(self): super().services_resolved() device_information_service = next( s for s in self.services if s.uuid == '0000180a-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb') firmware_version_characteristic = next( c for c in device_information_service.characteristics if c.uuid == '00002a26-0000-1000-8000-00805f9b34fb') firmware_version_characteristic.read_value() def characteristic_value_updated(self, characteristic, value): print("Firmware version:", value.decode("utf-8")) device = AnyDevice(mac_address='AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF', manager=manager) device.connect() manager.run()
To write a characteristic value simply call
write_value(value) on the characteristic with
value being an array of bytes. Then
characteristic_write_value_failed(error) will be called on your
Subscribing for characteristic value changes
To subscribe for characteristic value change notifications call
enable_notifications() on the characteristic. Then, on your
characteristic_enable_notification_failed() will be called. Every time the Bluetooth device sends a new value,
characteristic_value_updated() will be called.
Please open an issue for this repository.
Contributions are welcome via pull requests. Please open an issue first in case you want to discus your possible improvements to this SDK.
The GATT SDK for Python is available under the MIT License.